All posts by Debra


With great excitement, Last Minute Folk at the Jayhawk welcomes Truckstop Honeymoon back to the LMF stage for their 4th appearance and first on the Jayhawk Gallery Stage. Topeka’s own Pastense bluegrass band will open the show.


“Bluegrass, punk-rock and a palpable dose of soul”            The Pitch, Kansas City MO

Hollering with all their hearts over a five string banjo and a doghouse bass, Truckstop Honeymoon live the life they sing about. Touring across three continents with four kids and a truck load of songs, Katie and Mike West tell stories about the strangeness of everyday life. Their music combines elements of bluegrass, music hall jazz and straight up rock’n’roll. Vaudevillian wit and showmanship spike their energetic live shows, while the fearless honesty of their songs touches the hearts of listeners around the world.

In eleven years Truckstop Honeymoon have released eight CDs and a full length documentary film on Baton Rouge label, Squirrel Records. They perform at International folk festivals, rock clubs, neighborhood bars, house concerts and hay barns from Nebraska to Tasmania.

“Tales of cheating spouses, bad attitudes, short-change romances, endless asphalt and dodgy diners, all told with a “psychobilly” sense of playfulness, ringing banjo and a bass as certain as a highway centerline”  The Herald, Newcastle, Australia.

“They spit on enough conventions to keep things interesting”       The Onion, Madison WI

Truckstop Honeymoon’s story begins in New Orleans, where Katie played wash-tub bass and blues piano in the streets of the French Quarter. There she met Mike, who slung a banjo and sold his CDs to tourists as a curative for hangovers and small mindedness. After a court house wedding, they hit the road together. They spent their wedding night in a truck stop somewhere between Lafayette and the Atchafalaya Swamp. There Truckstop Honeymoon was born.

In 2005 Mike and Katie’s home and recording studio (the 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor) were washed away by hurricane Katrina. After a few months of living out of their van, they took their young family to the midwest music mecca of Lawrence, Kansas. Here they quickly established a reputation not only as a band, but also as producers of other recording artists. They rebuilt their studio, while continuing to tour Australia, Europe and the US. They even founded the first (and only) annual Mardi Gras parade in Kansas.

The music of Truckstop Honeymoon tells a story that is sometimes ferociously funny, sometimes bitterly sad, but always affecting and believable.

“Charming, incisive and funny”   Sing Out Magazine, USA

“It’s gritty, grisly and guttural, and makes for damn fine music” Where Y’at Magazine, New Orleans LA

“Truckstop Honeymoon got the chops”  The Stranger, Seattle WA



Pastense Bluegrass Band


Pastense is a five piece bluegrass and old time music group from Topeka, Kansas. Members include Jolleen Thorpe playing guitar and singing lead and harmony vocals; Joe McElroy on mandolin and guitar, Steve LaForge on banjo, and Don Anderson on the upright bass.

Pastense plays a variety of new and old bluegrass and gospel music plus some old time country favorites. Many of their songs were adapted from albums by Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent, Lonesome River Band and many more. The group also performs some original material written by Jolleen and others in the group.



Ann Zimmerman sings the prairie into universal language. Her music celebrates the joy, sorrow, grandeur and silliness of life, especially life on the windy plains. She backs her rich voice with piano, guitar and the audience itself. Ann has taken her Kansas style across the Great Plains and beyond—to New York, Seattle, Boston, Texas, Alaska—and turned each audience into her backup choir. Blending old and new traditions with her own award-winning songs, Ann’s concerts tell stories and paint portraits, brilliantly-colored and unexpected, sharpened by an irresistible stage presence. She has released four independent recordings of her music.

Ann appears annually at the world-renowned Land Institute in central Kansas, and has entertained at festivals, farmers markets, fancy theaters, and smoky dives—singing a hundred dates a year. “Meadowlark,” the title song from her recent album of children’s music was chosen as a finalist in the folk/Americana category of The Great American Song contest. Ann was voted the “People’s Choice” winner in the Wildflower! Festival song contest near Dallas, she was a long-standing member of the juried “Kansas Arts on Tour” and Mid-America Arts Alliance rosters and was nominated for a “grass-roots grammy” in the Just Plain Folks national song contest. Sample her music at

Ann grew up singing folksongs with her Kansas family to the strums of her mother’s autoharp. Besides recording, writing award-winning songs and playing concerts for all ages, Zimmerman is a professional mediator with a law degree from Harvard. Along with her husband, she runs a horse boarding stable near Salina, Kansas, her hometown. She’s been president of a Kansas environmental group, two regional mediators’ organizations, and her local League of Women Voters; she taught elementary school and edited a wholesale plumbing catalog. Says Zimmerman, “I’ve been singing through it all.”